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HIV/AIDS Epidemic may Strike Malaysia-experts Warn

Malaysian health officials have doomsday predictions for the country’s health scenario unless drastic measures are taken// to curb HIV/AIDS infection.

According to statistics released by the health ministry of Malaysia, the country will have a head count of 300, 000 HIV infected person by 2015.

Of a population of 30 million, 73 thousand are currently infected with the virus.

The figures show an increase of the AIDS causing virus among lorry drivers, fishermen, factory workers, drug addicts, and most worryingly, women.

Rise in heterosexual relationships as well as other social ills are behind this gloomy numbers.

The U.N. body UNAIDS last year said that Malaysia was among several Asia-Pacific countries that risked an HIV epidemic among drug users, unless the government took the problem more seriously.

In response, the government had taken up intervention measures that included drug substitution therapy and needle exchange programs for drug addicts, as well as providing free antiretroviral drugs at government clinics, especially for women and children.

Dr.Ramlee Rahmat, deputy director-general of public health has called for co-operation from the public in tackling the menace. He says if not put under control, the spread of AIDS can wipe out Malaysia’s development made over the last 50 years, and devastate the nation’s economy.

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